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    McMullan Takes Third, Welch Fourth, 'Cats Place Ninth at NCAA's

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Jason Welch finished fourth at 157 lbs., becoming a two-time All-American.
    Jason Welch finished fourth at 157 lbs., becoming a two-time All-American.

    March 17, 2012

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    2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships - Session V
    Site: Scottrade Center (St. Louis, Mo.)
    NU Result: 9th/42.5 points
    Championship Website:
    Stats & Updated Brackets: 
    Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLive / #d1wrestle / #NCAAWrestle

    2012 NCAA Championship Bracket Get Acrobat Reader

    ST. LOUIS, Mo.-- Northwestern is coming back to Evanston with two All-Americans and a top-10 finish after three days of competition at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Redshirt freshman Mike McMullan finished third at heavyweight while redshirt junior Jason Welch was a fourth-place finisher at 157, giving NU at least two All-Americans in six of the last seven years. The two, along with the other four NU qualifiers who each won at least one match, helped the Wildcats place ninth, finishing with 42.5 points.

    NU has placed within the top 15 at NCAA's in seven of the last eight years, with the lone exception coming in 2009-10 when one Wildcat qualified for NCAA's. The 'Cats have two top-10 finishes in that span as this year's ninth-place finish is Northwestern's best since placing fourth during the 2006-07 campaign. NU was one of six Big Ten teams to finish in the top 10 of this year's standings.

    As a 10 seed, Mike McMullan made his way to the third-place match after top-seeded Ryan Flores of American medically forfeited out of the tournament. His third-place match was a key one in terms of team standings as he faced No. 3 seed Clayton Jack of Oregon State. The Beavers were one point behind Northwestern in the team standings heading into the match but McMullan kept the 'Cats ahead with a dominating 10-5 victory. McMullan almost ended the match early as his first takedown took Jack to his back and the Wildcat picked up two nearfall points to lead 4-0. Jack started the second period down and McMullan turned him, which again almost resulted in a pin, giving McMullan the 6-1 advantage and over a minute of riding time (1:02) before Jack escaped. Jack scored his lone takedown in the third, coming within two at 6-4. McMullan added an escape and the decisive takedown with 39 seconds left. Jack would escape once more and McMullan tacked on a point for riding time (1:17), to win, 10-5.

    McMullan's third-place finish at NCAA's is the best of any NU redshirt freshman since Jake Herbert took third at 174 lbs. during the 2005 championships. He capped his first season of competition with a 29-11 record, going 6-1 at the 2012 NCAA Championships.

    No. 3 seed Jason Welch assured his spot in the 157 third-place match, defeating Clarion's No. 6 James Fleming in the consolation semifinals. Welch jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the end of the second, scoring off two takedowns. The third period was an exciting one with two lead changes. Fleming chose top to start the third, turned Welch for two nearfall points and then again for three more backpoints, taking the 5-4 lead. Fleming's lead did not last long though as Welch re-gained control, scoring a reversal (6-5) and then two backpoints of his own (8-5). Welch tacked on another point for 1:59 of riding time as he advanced to the third-place match against Penn State's No. 7 Dylan Alton. After a scoreless first, Welch trailed 3-1 at the end of the second and came within one point (3-2) with 1:22 left in the third. Alton scored the decisive takedown though and added a point for riding time, giving Welch a fourth-place finish with the 6-2 decision.

    Welch is NU's 15th two-time All-American as he finished sixth as a redshirt sophomore in 2011. He also concludes his junior year with the best record of his career at 27-3.

    Northwestern's ninth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships concludes the 2011-12 season where the 'Cats went 11-4 in dual action, finished a program-best second at Midlands and added two more All-America honors to the list.

    Session V - Medal Rounds
    157 Consolation Semifinal: No. 3 Jason Welch dec No. 6 James Fleming (Clarion), 9-5
    Third-Place Match: No. 7 Dylan Alton (Penn State) dec No. 3 Jason Welch, 6-2

    Hwt Consolation Semifinal: No. 10 Mike McMullan wins by medical forfeit No. 1 Ryan Flores
    Third-Place Match: No. 10 Mike McMullan dec No. 3 Clayton Jack (Oregon State), 10-5


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